Join Richard Harrington for an in-depth discussion in this video Matching movement with the Warp Stabilizer VFX, part of After Effects Guru: Tracking and Stabilizing Footage.
Up until this point we've been using the Warp Stabilizer to create a stable shot. However, there is the letters VFX at the end of it for a reason. The Warp Stabilizer VFX can be used to take the shakiness of the shot, track it, translate that to other effects or layers, and then reintroduce the movement back into the shot as a whole. This allows you to essentially track the shakiness of the shot, leave it in place, and add other elements into the scene that move along with it.
I've got two examples here to show you. In this particular case, using the Warp Stabilizer, I could take advantage of some specific controls. You'll notice here, if I tell it the intent, by changing Objective to Reversible Stabilization, the clip will switch to no motion. I can now modify the shot. For example, double click and use a tool like the Clone Stamp tool. This could allow me to paint out elements such as the logo here.
Now, I'll need to deal with the fact that the logo may change size as the guitar moves. So, generally speaking, you'll need to go a bit larger with the clone. But that's not too bad. Now that that clone is done, you'll see that the effect appears below the visual effects. Additionally, you could do things like attach a glow to this. Let's render out a Lens Flare. I'll use the Generate category. And while I wouldn't normally attach a flare here, it's a good effect to show tracking.
Let's put the point right there. And use a 105 prime, and we'll blend that a little bit. Just put a little highlight on that spot. And now, simply duplicate the warp stabilizer visual effects. And put it at the bottom. Back in the composition, go to the Advanced category and switch this from Reversible Stabilization to Reverse Stabilization. Now what happens is that the content is going to move. And you'll see, in this case, that the cloning tracks the movement of the shot.
And the lens flare is moved with the stabilize clip. Remember, you could take advantage of other options here. Under Framing, if you want to scale that up, just choose Auto Scale. If that goes too far, you could always, of course, use the Additional Scale property and dial this in as you see fit. And now, the tracking will move with the shot and follow the action. This particular shot has a lot of motion so I'll need to do some more scaling. But, all in all, it works pretty well. And if you're not happy with the method, you can always change that.
For example, I could say Perspective up here. And make sure that this one down here is also set to Perspective. Now the two methods will be used identically. And you see that things like the lens flare and the clone are moving with the shot. But it's not just for compositing effects onto a clip. You can also take additional layers and map those together. For example, here, I've applied a text layer. And what I'd like to do is make that follow the action. Well, I've already completed it, but let's go back to scratch.
With the Warp Stabilizer VFX here. Let's just reset this, and we'll re-analyze the frame. Under the Advance category, once the analysis is complete, we could change the objective. Now, in order to access these controls down here, you'll need to use a detailed analysis. In this case, since I had previously performed this analysis, it goes a bit faster. Because it's accessing some cache data. You can then add other content into the scene. For example, I have a text layer and let's just access the effects on that, the layer styles, and we'll tone down the drop shadow a little bit.
Looks pretty good. And when the analysis is complete, we can move things around. In this case, I don't want the text to bend so I'm going to use simply a Position Scale and Rotation method for the tracked object. Under the Objective here, I've got two choices. I could apply the motion to target, or to the target over original. Use Apply to target if you want to use the footage layer to influence the content of another layer, but you don't intend to see the two layers put together. This is useful if you want to, basically, take a video layer and use it to create virtual movement in another layer, such as a handheld video of a shaky camera used to shake a text layer. In this case, I'm going to composite over the original. It asked me to pick a target layer, so I'll just choose from the pop-up list, a text layer. And now, this layer could be turned off. Remember, while this may not seem intuitive, you can access the position properties of the original layer to influence what's being composited over the footage layer. Now, as the guitar player moves around, you'll see that the text becomes attached to the object. And essentially, the stabilized shot translates its analysis to the attached text layer. And I'm pretty happy with that result. It's interesting how, in a way, we've tracked an object, using the stabilization feature. And it's a cool way to composite elements into the scene.
- Analyzing footage
- Using the 3D camera tracker to stabilize footage
- Choosing and moving a target
- Adding 3D text to a scene
- Tracking an object
- Applying the Warp Stabilizer VFX
- Choosing a stabilization method
- Reducing rolling shutter distortion
- Matching movement